5 Writing Lessons from Chetan Bhagat
The essence of any writing is, whether it is accepted and adored by the public. If it is, then your writing is a piece of success. Chetan Bhagat is one such writer who has written quite a few books by breaking all conventional rules of writing, while still being able to hold on to a strong fan base around the world.
Chetan Bhagat is indeed the present youth icon of India. His style of writing is not the conventional type of writing you have been taught; neither is it in the form you would expect of pure English novels. His writing is very simple and conveys the message of love, anxiety, tension, suspense etc in a very subtle and clear manner.
So, let us dig in a bit more further to get 5 writing lessons from Chetan Bhagat:
1. Watch Your Target
Remember to think about your target group of readers. Whether it is a young or old set of readers, the trend of your story, its background, the situations that come about in it, and so on, will be different. Chetan mostly concentrates on young people, which includes both people who just graduated and those who are just beginning to experience real life and relationships.
2. The Guy Next Door
Characters are the main attractions of any writing. If their (individuals in the story) dialogues, mannerisms, characters seem to mingle well with the reader and if their actions are acceptable and logical, your story is a sure hit immediately. Looking through the characters Chetan Bhagat chooses, we will find that these are ordinary people who have normal ambitions in life, experience their first love and consider interesting techniques to win their life partner, or to become successful in life. All his characters portray a bit of everybody and that is why we like what he writes.
3. Love and Writing
Chetan Bhagat’s stories have an Indian touch in all of them. So infuse a touch of love, tradition, youth, vigour, emotions, and conversations, and of course a simple and humble human touch in all actions.
Chetan believes that life without love is a dead end; therefore that little spice of love adds a lot of zing into a normal story. Relate your concept of love, your extent of passion, determination and urge to accomplish something in life with the main role. This will provide a good baseline on how to nurture the character into one who is strong, lovable and yet idealistic and naughty.
Of course, this too depends on your age. Variations can arise depending on your age and situations you have come across in life.
Chetan was and is serious about his passion for writing. He knew there were thousands of people waiting for his magical combo of words, drama and stories. He left his job and dedicated his life for writing good books for the public. So, that is the kind of earnestness and responsibility he had towards writing. When you have such passion and dedication to your writing and your readers, success will be inevitable.
Last of all, this is what any thoughtful writer should do. Experiment with his her work. How can you do that?
Chetan Bhagat did this when he initially started writing. It is not difficult at all. According to him, just choose a couple of your sincere friends and ask them to read your book. If they find it interesting, that is the go signal for you. If they state some changes, be ready and ever willing to make the changes.
He tried this technique with the first two books he wrote. On noticing that he attained success, he had no more doubts as to what trend will suit his fans and how he should carve his writing. Chetan does not claim to be a perfect writer but he surely does know the pulse of the normal Indian youth and their reading interests.
After all, this is not only for you, but for a huge lot of people who are likely to become your faithful fans in a short while of time.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in January 2014.